Dalhousie, located in the outer slopes of hill Dhauladhar range, is full of old world charm and holds lingering echoes of the 'RAJ'. The British Governor General, Lord Dalhousie, visiting this area around the middle of the 19th century for a quiet retreat, came upon a charming spot on a ridge overlooking the plains and later the hill town was named after him.
The history of this town dates back to 1854, when it was discovered the British governor-general Lord Dalhousie. Named after him, this town emerged as a favorable destination of many leaders throughout history. This town has a special significance in context of Indian history as many of our illustrious leaders have visited and stayed in this town. This is indeed the district that had a huge impact on the Indian laureate Rabindranath Tagore, who has described Dalhousie it his famed autobiography. Many national leaders like Subhash Chandra Bose, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nelhru and Shaeed Ajeet Sings have too stayed at Dalhousie at some point of their lives and have said and written something in its appreciation.
In 1866, the cantonment area of Balun was also taken over and remains a cantonment to this day.
Air: Nearest airports are Pathankot which is about 75 km from Dalhousie and Jammu at a distance of 180 km from Dalhousie. Pathankot is connected to Delhi only, while Jammu has more frequent air services to Delhi and other destinations in North India. Taxi fare from Dalhousie-Pathankot is nearly Rs 1000.
Rail: Nearest railhead is Pathankot. Patahnkot is well connected by rail to various cities in India, including Mumbai, Pune and Delhi. Taxi fare from Dalhousie-Pathankot is nearly Rs 1000.
Road: Bus services by public transport system are available in Dalhousie, which connects to the towns in and around Dalhousie. Overnight luxury buses are available from Delhi to Dalhousie (587 km distance). The bus fare is about Rs 1500.
Buy handicrafts at the Tibetan Market which is located at Gandhi Chowk. Good buys would be carpets, jewellery, woolens, Chamba slippers, scarves and shawls. The Himachal Handicrafts Emporium is also a good place for handicraft shopping.
Dalhousie might not be the ultimate shopper's haven, but it definitely has something unique to offer. Here you should not miss buying Buddhist paintings, woollens, junk jewelery and a variety of silver and copper 'diyas'. The best place to sought these items will be the Tibetan market on Gandhi chowk. The government emporium called as the Himachal Hand loom Crafts centre on Potreyn road should be visited for Kullu shawls while Tibetan shawls and carpets along with souvenirs can be best bought from Tibetan Handicrafts centre on lower Bakrota. You should visit the DC Khanna store on Potreyn road for some traditional old world charms.
Gandhi Chowk: Gandhi Chowk is one among the hottest shopping place in Dalhousie. Formerly known as GPO, Gandhi Chowk, is a vivacious plaza with abundant bistros and shops. Most significant of all the shops scattered here is the Tibetan market, which sells diverse goods ranging from traditional handicrafts to electronic goods.
The majority of the shops are huddled in and around Gandhi Chowk, which hardly takes 15 mins from the central bus station. A number of assiduous Tibetans make and vend a wide range of articles such as jewellery, jackets, handicrafts, rugs, cardigans and carpets. One can also found tiny shops apart from the well established shopping malls.
Tibetan Handicrafts Centre: The brilliancy of Tibetan artisans is clearly reflected in the richness of the traditional artifacts that are put for sale in the Tibetan handicraft center at Bakrota Hill. A souk owned by Tibetans, this center displays various types of ornaments, mementos and Chinese goods.
A visit to this emporium makes oneself to be accustomed with the dexterity of Tibetans. What makes this centre a hub of shoppers is its outstanding collections of Tibetan Carpets conventional handlooms and exquisite mats. It is assured that The Tibetan Handicrafts Centre would provide a delightful experience to the shopping buffs.
Dalhousie counts itself as one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Thousands of tourists visit it each year not only from other places within India but also from around the world. Dalhousie has several options of various hotel accommodations for people to choose from.
Most of the good hotels in Dalhousie are along the Mall and near the Bus Stand. These are standard quality hotels – reasonably comfortable and clean. Popular choices are Peace Channels Hotel and Mount View Hotel. Himachal Tourism runs a good hotel along with a restaurant. The old palace of the Chamba rulers, 2 kms from the centre of town, has been converted into a hotel.
Dalhousie has some good trekking routes with the major one being the Khajjiar – Chamba Khajjiar is 22 kms away from Dalhousie and the route follows a scenic climb to Kalatop 13 kms and 4-5hours of trekking time depending on your speed. Most trekkers set up camp for the night at Kalatop and start out again next morning on the next 12 kms to Khajjiar. Spend the night again at khajjiar and set out next day for the 10kms trek to Chamba.